8th Grade
Common Core Social Studies

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Historical  Thinking and Skills

1. Primary and secondary sources are used to examine events from multiple perspectives and to present and defend a position.

Colonization to Independence

2. North America, originally inhabited by American Indians, was explored and colonized by Europeans for economic and religious reasons.

3. Competition for control of territory and resources in North America led to conflicts among colonizing powers.

4. The practice of race-based slavery led to the forced migration of Africans to the American colonies. Their knowledge and traditions contributed to the development of those colonies and the United States.

5. The ideas of the Enlightenment and dissatisfaction with colonial rule led English colonists to write the Declaration of Independence and launch the American Revolution.


A New Nation

6. The outcome of the American Revolution was national independence and new political, social and economic relationships for the American people.

7. Problems arising under the Articles of Confederation led to debate over the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

8. Actions of early presidential administrations established a strong federal government, provided peaceful transitions of power and repelled a foreign invasion.


9. The United States added to its territory through treaties and purchases.

10. Westward expansion contributed to economic and industrial development, debates over sectional issues, war with Mexico and the displacement of American Indians.

Civil War and Reconstruction

11. Disputes over the nature of federalism, complicated by economic developments in the United States, resulted in sectional issues, including slavery, which led to the American Civil War.

12. The Reconstruction period resulted in changes to the U.S. Constitution, an affirmation of federal authority and lingering social and political differences.








Spatial Thinking Skills

13. Modern and historical maps and other geographic tools are used to analyze how historic events are shaped by geography.

Human Systems

14. The availability of natural resources contributed to the geographic and economic expansion of the United States, sometimes resulting in unintended environmental consequences.

15. The movement of people, products and ideas resulted in new patterns of settlement and land use that influenced the political and economic development of the United States.

16. Cultural biases, stereotypes and prejudices had social, political and economic consequences for minority groups and the population as a whole.

17. Americans began to develop a common national identity among its diverse regional and cultural populations based on democratic ideals.









Civic Participation and Skills

18. Participation in social and civic groups can lead to the attainment of individual and public goals.

19. Informed citizens understand how media and communication technology influence public opinion.


Roles and Systems of Government

20. The U.S. Constitution established a federal system of government, a representative democracy and a framework with separation of powers and checks and balances.

21. The U.S. Constitution protects citizens’ rights by limiting the powers of government.








Economic Decision Making and Skills

22. Choices made by individuals, businesses and governments have both present and future consequences.

Production and Consumption

23. The Industrial Revolution fundamentally changed the means of production as a result of improvements in technology, use of new power resources, the advent of interchangeable parts and the shift from craftwork to factory work.


24. Governments can impact markets by means of spending, regulations, taxes and trade barriers.

Financial Literacy

25. The effective management of one’s personal finances includes using basic banking services (e.g., savings accounts and checking accounts) and credit.